City and County of Boulder - Solar Sales and Use Tax Rebate


Incentive Type:

Sales Tax Incentive

Eligible Renewable/Other Technologies:

Solar Water Heat, Photovoltaics, Solar Pool Heating

Applicable Sectors:

Commercial, Residential


15% refund on sales and use tax for the solar installation


In 2006, the City of Boulder established a solar sales and use tax rebate for photovoltaic (PV) and solar water heating installations. Solar system owners may receive a rebate (essentially a tax refund) drawn from the unrestricted tax revenues collected from solar energy sales.

Approximately 55% of solar sales and use tax revenues go to restricted funds. Of the unrestricted revenues, 35% percent is refunded to the solar system owner. Thus, the value of the refund is about 15% of the city sales and use tax paid. The city estimates that the refund equates to approximately 1% of "average" PV system costs. Rebates total approximately $50,000 for 500 kW of photovoltaics installed.

The remaining 65% of the unrestricted revenues are used to fund the ClimateSmart Solar Grant Fund. The ClimateSmart Solar Grant Fund is used to rehabilitate or install solar energy systems on affordable housing developments and site-based non-profit organizations.

An application for Boulder's Solar Energy Sales and Use Tax Rebate is available here, and an immigration form must be completed and returned with all applications to comply with House Bill 06S-1023.